The Most Important Thing to Do Today
The most important thing you can do today is plan for the unplanned. New technologies can prepare your business for whatever may happen to enable your employees, teams, customers, and business processes to better adapt to the reality of constant change. Here we will discuss four important ways to prepare your business for unexpected events.
As we all know, the start of a new year tends to bring with it our resolutions to make improvements in areas that are important to us – such as our health, our families, our communities, and our chosen profession. Many of us have found it difficult to stick to the initial plan – usually because things rarely go exactly as planned. As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus advised some 2500 years ago, change is constant. And this change is often unplanned. Of course, after the year we’ve all just experienced, this goes without saying.
This year, I’m excited to have obtained new personal tech that I expect will make it easier for me to stay on track with my personal 2021 goals. This is because I’ve learned that having the right tools can make a tremendous difference when it comes to getting a job done – especially when things don’t go exactly as planned. This is analogous to what we are discussing here – although this blog’s focus is on achieving your business goals.
In terms of managerial prioritization, planning for the unexpected must fall into both the important and urgent categories because of this uncertainty. But how can you plan for something that you cannot anticipate? The fact is that you can’t plan the details, but you can position your business with the right technology that will give you the ability to adapt when the unexpected happens.
With the right technology, your business can also proactively look for and address the opportunities of the unplanned.
Establishing an “all-weather” workforce
Opportunity #1 is to equip employees to work from anywhere. Today’s technology enables workers to have the same communications capabilities outside of the office that has previously only been available in the office. This includes secure connectivity, inbound contact management, and outbound contact convenience – including for customer service agents. During the recent pandemic, Avaya OneCloud™ helped thousands of workers to relocate their work outside of the office. Recent Avaya research indicates that working from home will continue to be a new workforce reality for many in the coming months and businesses are investing in new technologies to keep their remote workers connected and productive. But it isn’t sufficient to just provide employees with access to these new tools, they must also be orchestrated similarly to how communications in the office have been managed for years by IT teams. Avaya just announced a vision for the Composable Home Office that is designed to enable businesses to quickly develop and deliver new experiences for home office workers. One of these experiences is the new Avaya Vantage 3 which has been redesigned specifically to improve the home worker experience. I encourage you to watch the related work from anywhere webinars available here as well as the Avaya Work from Home Communications Planning Guide.
Enabling 24/7 collaboration work streams
Opportunity #2 is to elevate your teamwork beyond generic video conferencing with tools that accelerate getting work done. As Avaya’s CMO Simon Harrison advises in a recent blog, the recent pandemic is “swinging the workplace pendulum” from Unified Communications (UC) to Workstream Collaboration. I like to refer to collaboration workstreams as “a little less conversation, and a little more action!” Over the past months, Avaya Spaces™ has enabled customers across all types of verticals not only to continue to be productive but to increase their productivity. One of the most hard-hit verticals in the recent crisis has been the education vertical – and Avaya Spaces™ is enabling students of all ages around the world to continue to learn.
Strengthening customer touchpoints
Opportunity #3 is to keep your customers connected regardless of what happens. When Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, healthcare was initially hit the hardest – with their patients wanting more information – literally driving thousands of incoming calls every hour. And then came the challenge of needing to notify a growing list of potential carriers that they should quarantine. Avaya OneCloud™ was able to help our customers address both the inbound and outbound challenges.
This new challenge to connect with customers soon spread to government and finance. Again, Avaya OneCloud™ was able to assist with solutions deployed in only a few days to connect customers with the information they needed.
Also impacted were retail and other small business – which required changes to their entire operations and how they serve their customers.
Avaya OneCloud™ was able to quickly assist in these areas. Customers like Harris County are saying that it “has taken our operations to a level we never knew was possible – and it’s saving lives!” Take a look at how 6 Points (Sports Education) is growing its business and also at Nebraska Medicine (healthcare) examples.
The next challenge is COVID-19 vaccine administration. Again, Avaya OneCloud™ is delivering the tools that businesses need to accelerate this critically important initiative. (Sign up for the next COVID-19 webinar to hear the latest from the experts.)
This opportunity cannot happen without also addressing the first two opportunities. While it is important to have the right customer experience toolkit, the employee experience is one of the largest factors in the strength of your customer touchpoints and relationships. Take a moment to listen to more about this from Avaya’s EVP and Chief Product Officer Anthony Bartolo here.
Ensuring Business Continuity
Opportunity #4 is to ensure your business against potential downtime
The experience of the recent crisis has driven many of our customers to the Avaya OneCloud™ Subscription model. This keeps their technology current which helps to avoid potential outages that can result from security attacks or using outdated software. They also like the additional capabilities they obtain from subscribing to simple and powerful packaged solutions – as well as the latest devices – including applications-driven desk phones and conferencing solutions that can easily incorporate the latest AI and other technologies.
Avaya OneCloud™ also uses a layered technology approach which means specific solution elements can be modified without impacting the entire solution stack. This significantly increases business agility and gives you the tools and processes to enable your business to quickly adapt to change.
Avaya OneCloud™ is the answer
There is a saying that comes to mind: There are three types of businesses – those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that wonder – what happened? Which of these will describe your business in 2021?
To plan for the unplanned, you need to look no further than Avaya OneCloud™. It is a multi-cloud application ecosystem that is designed to both optimize “planned” operations, and to increase your ability to address unexpected events and opportunities. Its unique hybrid architecture blurs the lines between previous cloud archetypes to deliver what you need today and to provide a personalized cloud journey for your business – one that protects existing investments while connecting you with all the cloud has to offer. It is the “one” move forward that you need to make today to better prepare your business for the future.